Cordillera deals with landslides, damaged schools after heavy rains

BAGUIO, Philippines – Rainfall from Monday morning, July 23 till 8 am of Tuesday, July 24, only amounted to 5.4 mm – compared to more than 200 mm 3 days ago at the height of Tropical Depression Josie – but it will be a while before Cordillera gets back on its feet.

Classes have resumed but 22 schoolhouses were totally or partially destroyed in the region. 

The damaged schools in Benguet are Batanes Elementary School at Gambang, Filomena Cating Elementary School in Atok, Deccan Primary School in Buguias, and Cayapas Elementary School and Guinaoang National High School in Mankayan town. 

Damaged schools in Bagui, meanwhile, are Happy Hallow Elementary School, Pacday Quinio Elementary School, Bakakeng National High School and Camp 7 Elementary School.

Abra has 6 damaged schools, including Tubo Central School, Caoayan Primary School, and Abra Elementary School in Licuaan Baay and San Ramon Elementary School in Pidigan. Rosalio Eduarte National High School in Dolores and Nalbuan Elementary School in Manabo were flooded by the swelling of the Abra River.

Four schools in Mountain Province were damaged by landslides, while two schools were flooded in Banaue. Lubuagan Central School in Kalinga and Magabta Elementary School in Apayao were also damaged.

Because of the heavy rain last week, Ambuklao and Binga dams in Bokod, Benguet reached their critical levels of 752 and 575 meters, respectively. All seven gates were opened.

This did not mean exacerbating floodwaters in La Union and Pangasinan, however, as the released waters were intercepted by the San Roque Dam reservoir which is more than 10 meters below its critical level of 280 mm.

Cordillera recorded 46 landslides including 25 in Baguio and 9 in Benguet.

DPWH Cordillera said that the roads that remain closed are Kennon Road, Abra-Cervantes Road, Abra-Ilocos Norte Road, Talubin Junction-Calaccad Road and the Calaman-Abubut Roadin Kalinga.

In Ilocos Region, the road along Urdaneta Junction to Dagupan to Lingayen remains impassable to light vehicles as of 5:30 pm. The Sobal Bridge in Pangasinan was also closed while a bailey bridge is being set up. The Alaminos-Bolinao Road remains impassable to light vehicles because of the damage to Garrita Bridge.

The Tagudin-Cervantes Road leading to Cordillera has one lane open in sections in Suyo and Quirino towns. Leading up to Tadian, the same route is also open for one lane at Gurel in Tadian. –